Japan Autumn Weather – When to Plan Your Trip

Japan Autumn Weather – When to Plan Your Trip

Japan Autumn weather brings a symphony of colors, cool breezes, and tranquility that captivates locals and tourists alike. It is one of the most enchanting times to visit Japan.

Japan Autumn Weather - Mount Fuji Autumn
Source: Canva

While popular, autumn is nowhere near as busy as cherry blossom season. An autumn trip to Japan is the perfect time to explore the country’s beauty without fighting throngs of tourists to get to your favorite spot.

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Japan’s autumn weather, the best times to travel, and the breathtaking fall foliage. Let’s get started!

When is Autumn in Japan

Autumn in Japan typically starts in mid-September and goes until November. This season is characterized by gradually cooling temperatures. It is an ideal time for travelers who prefer mild weather. The vibrant autumn leaves, known as “koyo,” are a major attraction, drawing countless visitors to parks, gardens, and mountains.

Japan Autumn Weather

Japan Autumn Weather - Months of the Year
Source: Canva

Knowing what kind of weather to expect on your trip is crucial. Here is a breakdown of what to do during autumn in Japan.


September marks the beginning of autumn in Japan, with the first hints of cooler temperatures and changing leaves starting to appear. During this month, northern regions like Hokkaido are the first to experience the vibrant fall foliage.

Temperature Range

  • Daytime: 23ºC to 28ºC (73°F to 82°F)
  • Nighttime: 18ºC to 21ºC (64°F to 70°F).


September offers warm and slightly humid conditions. However, be prepared for occasional typhoons, which can bring heavy rain and strong winds. It’s advisable to keep an eye on weather forecasts and have flexible travel plans.

Typhoons generally travel along the west coast of Japan, starting in the South and moving North. Central and Eastern Japan are not affected as heavily by typhoons.

Travel Tips

  • Clothing: Lightweight clothing is suitable for daytime, but carry a light jacket for cooler evenings.
  • Activities: September is an excellent time for outdoor activities, such as exploring temples, gardens, and hiking trails.
  • Crowds: Early September might see some crowds due to local holidays, so traveling later in the month can help avoid peak times.


October is a prime month to witness the full splendor of autumn in Japan. As the weather cools further, regions such as Kyoto, Nikko, and the Japanese Alps transform into breathtaking landscapes of red, orange, and yellow foliage. This period offers a perfect setting for autumn leaf viewing or “Momiji-gari,” attracting nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.


  • Daytime: 19ºC to 23ºC (66°F to 73°F)
  • Nighttime: 14ºC to 18ºC (57°F to 64°F).


October brings cooler and more comfortable weather, making it an ideal month for sightseeing. The typhoon season usually ends by late October, reducing the likelihood of extreme weather.

Travel Tips

  • Clothing: Layering is essential. Bring a mix of light and warmer clothing to adjust to changing temperatures.
  • Activities: October is perfect for visiting cultural sites, attending festivals, and enjoying outdoor adventures.
  • Crowds: This month is generally less crowded, providing a more relaxed travel experience.


As autumn peaks in November, Japan’s landscape is adorned with vibrant fall colors, creating a picturesque setting for travel. This month is ideal for visiting regions like Kyoto, Nara, and Hakone, where the autumn foliage is most spectacular. As November progresses, the colors fade, marking the gentle transition into the colder winter months.


  • Daytime: 14ºC and 18ºC (57°F to 64°F)
  • Nighttime: 7ºC to 12ºC (45°F to 54°F).


November offers crisp, clear weather, ideal for viewing autumn foliage. The mornings and evenings can be chilly, so dress warmly. Northern areas of Japan, like Hokkaido, may see snow. Suring seasonably colder years, many ski resorts in Hakuba or Niseko will open in late November.

Travel Tips

  • Clothing: Pack warm layers, including sweaters and jackets. Don’t forget a scarf and gloves for added comfort.
  • Activities: November is the peak time for fall foliage. Visit parks, mountains, and historic sites to witness the stunning colors.
  • Crowds: While popular foliage spots can be busy, the atmosphere remains serene and enjoyable.

Fall Leaves in Japan

One of Japan’s most captivating aspects of autumn is the breathtaking fall foliage. The vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves transform the landscape into a picturesque wonderland. Japanese Maple trees play a significant role in creating these vibrant fall colors and scenic landscapes. Here’s where you can experience the best of Japan’s autumn colors.

Best Places to See Fall Foliage

Japan Autumn Weather - Fall foliage spots japan
Source: Canva


Kyoto is renowned for its stunning autumn scenery. For iconic views, visit Kiyomizu Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, and Tofukuji Temple.


In Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko is famous for its beautiful fall colors and scenic mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. Don’t miss the Nikko National Park and Toshogu Shrine.


Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, offers an early start to the autumn foliage season. Explore Daisetsuzan National Park and Shiretoko Peninsula for breathtaking vistas.

Japan’s Northern Alps

The Northern Alps region, including Kamikochi, Hakuba, and Shirakawa-go, offers some of Japan’s most stunning autumn scenery. The crisp mountain air and the colorful leaves create a truly magical setting for hiking, fall leaf viewing, and enjoying all the autumn colors.

Tips for Enjoying Fall Foliage

  • Plan Ahead: Research the best times to visit different regions for peak foliage. The timing can vary depending on the weather and location.
  • Get Up Early: Beat the crowds by starting your day early or traveling during the week. Popular spots can get busy, especially on weekends.
  • Capture the Moments: Bring a good camera or smartphone to capture the stunning colors. The golden hour, just after sunrise or before sunset, offers the best photo lighting.


Autumn in Japan is a magical time, offering a perfect blend of mild weather, cultural experiences, and natural beauty.

The fall season in Japan is renowned for its vibrant autumn foliage, cool but mild temperatures, and an array of traditional fall activities.

Whether you’re exploring bustling cities or tranquil countryside, the vibrant fall foliage adds a touch of enchantment to every scene. Planning your activities based on Japan’s autumn weather and choosing the right time to visit will help you make the most of your visit.


When is the best time to see autumn foliage in Japan?

The best time to see autumn foliage varies by region. Generally, late September to early October is ideal for Tokyo’s Hokkaido, mid-October to mid-November, and late November to early December for Kyoto.

What should I pack for a trip to Japan in autumn?

Pack layers to accommodate varying temperatures. Include lightweight clothing for warm afternoons and warmer layers like sweaters and jackets for cooler evenings. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes and accessories like scarves and gloves.

Are there any unique autumn festivals in Japan?

Yes, autumn is a festive season in Japan. Some notable festivals include the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival in Osaka, the Sawara Grand Festival in Chiba, and various Tsukimi (moon viewing) events.

Can I still travel during the typhoon season in September?

While typhoons can occur, they are usually manageable with proper planning. Keep an eye on weather forecasts, have flexible travel plans, and consider travel insurance for added peace of mind. Public transport may shut down during typhoons. Take proper precautions and follow public advisories when traveling during typhoon season.

How can I avoid crowds during my autumn trip to Japan?

To avoid crowds, consider traveling during weekdays, visiting popular spots early in the morning, and exploring lesser-known destinations. Late September and early November are generally quieter times.